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Short Story Contest
This year’s Short Story Contest will begin on March 1, 2020, but students are encouraged to start planning and drafting their stories as soon as possible! Read on to learn about this year’s topics and other important information.
Your story must address the topic of your division, but be creative! There are many ways to approach each topic. Here are the topics for 2020:
- Lower Division (Grades 2-5): Write a story about an unexpected gift.
- Upper Division (Grades 6-12): Write a story about someone who is lost.
Note: Your division is based on your grade in school, not the AoPS Academy classes you're in. For example, if you are in 5th grade at school but you are taking 6th Grade Language Arts at AoPS Academy, you would compete in the lower division.
Dates and Guidelines
The contest will be open March 1–April 6, 2020. Students will be able to submit their stories on this page once the contest is open.
Students must be currently enrolled in a math or language arts class to be eligible for the contest. To be considered for the contest, your story must:
- address your division's topic
- be 1500 words or less
- be age-appropriate for your grade level*
* Please keep in mind that this contest is open to students from elementary to high school. While no story will be disqualified on the basis of content, winning stories dealing with topics not suitable for younger readers may not be shared with the wider AoPS Academy community.
Winners in each division (lower-grade and upper-grade) will be awarded Amazon gift cards in the amounts shown below:
- Grand Prize (1st Place): $100
- 2nd Place: $75
- 3rd Place: $50
- 4th - 6th Places: $25
- 7th - 10th Places: $10
Prizes will be awarded at the Spring Awards Ceremony. Grand-prize winners will read a short excerpt of their work at the event, and their stories will be collected and published in a book that will be distributed across all 10 AoPS Academies. Please note that stories dealing with topics not suitable for all ages may be excluded from publication per judges’ discretion.
Here is a list of helpful questions to ask yourself as you work on your story:
- Does my story have a beginning, middle, and end?
- Are my characters interesting and well-developed?
- Do I describe my setting using specific details?
- Do I use quotation marks to show when my characters are speaking?
- Do I indent each new paragraph?
- Am I using proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation?
Still need help? The best way to learn about writing is by reading! Crack open your favorite book and look at how the author creates their story.
Submit a Story
Check back here once the contest is open to submit a story!
Once the contest is open, students will be able to submit their stories on this page. Note that students must be logged in with their own accounts (not their parents' accounts) to submit a story.